Ceritas is a stunning producer of very cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from sites along the northern Californian coast. Led by husband and wife duo, John and Phoebe Raytek, the wines are not typically Californian. These are stylistically extremely delicate and fine-boned, the perfume is alluring and the filigree tannins I have routinely only found in Burgundy. These are wonderful Pinots for the cellar and would be magical in the home of any serious collector of Pinot Noir. This is the first release of Rivina. The vineyard was planted by friends of Ceritas in the Fort-Ross Seaview sub-appellation of the West Sonoma Coast, close to the other vineyards from which Ceritas make Pinot Noir. High-density planting and the cool, humid climate result in small vines and tiny yields. Despite being planted on mostly sandstone there is a distinctly iron-like mineral richness to the wine, with fine tannin but densely packed and chiselled. It bristles with more power than one might expect. Will age superbly and especially in a brilliant year like 2018 where the mild growing season led to perfume and retention of total freshness.
In the vineyard we allow our sustainable farming practices to be dictated by observation and empiricism rather than by prescriptive farming. All of our vineyard sites are either farmed bio-dynamically or are in the initial stages of being converted to biodynamic farming methods. We believe that biodynamic farming methods, and focused and site-specific attention, give the vines the greatest opportunity to experience each growing season, to respond accordingly, and ultimately to yield grapes with the unmistakable flavours and smells of their time and place.
In the winery, we keep things simple. We look at winemaking from a standpoint that owes more to tradition than it does to cutting-edge innovation ” we more often find ourselves trying to understand what not to do rather than what to do. The crafting of each vintage is like a journey, in which nature sets its own course. Our role is to adapt, to proceed with humility, and to learn.'